Our home should be the place where we feel safest and most comfortable. When everyone and everything you love is under the same roof, you want to make sure that space is as secure as possible. Unfortunately, there are numerous health hazards lurking in your home, some of which are less obvious than others. While certain risks are unavoidable, there are things we can get rid of or replace with healthier alternatives. Read on and find out how to make your living space healthier for yourself and your family.
8 Unexpected health hazards lurking in your home
Bedding and mattresses
Making the right bed choice is crucial for a healthy start of the morning. It may surprise you, though, how many health hazards are lurking in your own bed. In fact, this is the place where most exposure to allergens occurs. Fortunately, many health risks lurking in your home can be minimized with proper hygiene. As pillows and mattresses trap fungi and dust mites that cause numerous health issues, it is important that you clean and change them regularly. You should also consider investing in hypoallergenic pillows and bedsheets. Since the concentration of mites also depends on the level of air humidity in your home, experts advise letting in as much fresh air as you can to reduce humidity.
Flame retardants can be found in many home products, such as upholstery, mattresses, and children’s toys. The purpose of these chemicals is to prevent items from burning when exposed to flame. Unfortunately, flame retardants contain toxins associated with many serious health problems. Therefore, make sure you are well-informed before bringing these products into your home.
Carpeting can pose several dangers. First, the dyes and glues found in new carpets can release dangerous chemicals, the so-called VOCs. Although their emissions are expected to decline after the first couple of days, you should consider this health hazard before buying a new carpet. It is a good idea to keep the new carpet outside your home until the chemicals escape or to leave the windows open for the first couple of days.
Carpets are a potential health hazard for people with allergies. In addition to unpleasant smells, carpets trap many pollutants, such as dust mites, pet dander, mold, etc. For example, bathroom rugs and all other carpets that are exposed to moisture create a perfect environment for mold. Obviously, keeping your carpets away from moisture can help prevent mold. Also, never skip the surface underneath the rug when vacuuming. To steam-clean the carpets, prepare a vinegar, alcohol, and cleaning solution mix and add warm water. Unfortunately, as mold develops rapidly, shampooing and steam-cleaning the carpets may not be enough. You may need to seek help from professional mold remediation service providers.
Pressed wood contains a chemical called formaldehyde that can cause different medical issues, such as burning sensations in the eyes and throat, and trigger attacks in people suffering from asthma. There’s even evidence linking presses-wood exposure and cancer. Pressed-wood products might be everywhere around you. They include hardwood plywood wall paneling, fiberboard, particleboard, and furniture items made from this material.
The best way to prevent problems associated with exposure to pressed wood is avoiding pressed-wood products altogether and opting for a healthier alternative when furnishing your new home, even if it costs a little more. There are other ways to cut costs without risking your health. For example, you can look for affordable experts for household relocation, while investing more money in quality furniture.
As the number of electronic devices in our homes continues to grow, extension cords seem to be multiplying. Extension cords cause thousands of residential fires and injure hundreds of people each year. They can create a dangerous shock and fire hazard when used continuously. Moreover, unattended extension cords present a potential hanging or choking hazard for young children. Therefore, remember to put them away after every use.
Scented candles are not only a popular gift choice but also an easy way to create a relaxing atmosphere in your home and get rid of stress. However, they often contain toxic chemicals. Candles with lead core wicks can increase air lead concentration above the recommended levels. It may surprise you that even unlit candles can be harmful to your health, especially if you have asthma or suffer from migraines. To prevent asthma attacks and migraines and make sure the air you breathe is free of toxic particles, we suggest using all-natural, organic candles. When it comes to scents, shapes, and sizes, the choice is practically limitless!
Speaking of scent-related health hazards lurking in your home, we must mention indoor plants. Although cut flowers and potted plants make a perfect addition to your home décor, they can be toxic, too. Some flowers and other houseplants require strategic positioning because they are harmful to cats, dogs, and young children. Certain plants can harm adults as well. Furthermore, a vase of cut flowers may smell and look amazing on your dining room table, but the stale water inside that vase may house different species of dangerous bacteria, some of which can cause nasty infections. To avoid this unnecessary risk, be sure to replace the water daily and wash the vase after every use.
A humidifier that isn’t clean will do more harm than good to you and your loved ones. If you let water sit in the container for a longer period, you’re creating a suitable environment for mold spores, bacteria, and fungi. All those germs will go directly into the air if you turn on the humidifier before cleaning the water container. You can avoid numerous health hazards lurking in your home simply by cleaning the container and filling it with distilled water before every use.